A cruise, a love triangle and unrelenting antics to win over a true love all take place en route on a trip from New York to England in Perry Players’ “Anything Goes” which opened Thursday.
“It’s been on Broadway a lot over the years,” Perry Players Artistic Director Hunter Hufnagel said. “It’s actually one of the biggest classics. It’s one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen and worked on. That’s why I picked it; people really enjoy seeing the funny stuff. You laugh the entire time. It’s definitely one of those.”
Set in 1934, “Anything Goes” features crazy antics that take place aboard a cruise ship while Billy Crocker (Josh Herndon), a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt (Lisa Gaines), tries to figure out how to win her heart. The situation is complicated by the fact that Hope is already engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Jason Niederkorn). The plot also follows nightclub singer/former evangelist Reno Sweeney (Holly Roberts) and Public Enemy No. 13 Moonface Martin (Christopher Michael Kemp), who both help Billy in his efforts to win over Hope.
The show, which runs a little over two hours with an intermission, has about 30 people in it. Hufnagel said Alyssa Lorenz, a graduate of Houston County, choreographed the colorful dance numbers. IA founding member of Perry Players, Carol Strandburg, is the music director for the show. Hufnagel said he is “really happy to have her back in the swing of things.”
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This is the first Perry Player’s production for Rachel Howell, a veteran actor who plays Evangeline Harcourt. She now lives in Warner Robins, but is a recent transplant from northwestern Missouri. With the production, she said she has made “some amazing friends” who have “really bonded through the rehearsal process.”
“It’s been amazing to watch each actor grow, and I’m so proud of the way we’ve pulled together as we get closer to the show opening,” she said. “There are some amazingly talented actors, and they are so fun to work alongside.”
Christopher Michael Kemp, who grew up in Warner Robins but now lives in Perry, plays the character Moonface and has been acting about five years. He said his favorite part of the play is the comedic interaction between Moonie and Billy.
“What I think is unique about the play is the storyline/acting is equal to the song and dance portion,” he said. “Basically, not too much or little of either.”
Where: Perry Players Community Theatre, 909 Main St., Perry
When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7-8 and 13-15; 2:30 p.m. Sept. 9 and 16
Cost: $20, $18 for active military, students with ID and seniors 60 and older
Information: 478-987-5354; www.perryplayers.org